Someone has said that the most important thing in life is to praise God. I do agree with him because there’s a lot of a verse that indeed was written to praise the Lord. Modern churches devote more time on their “praise and worship songs” rather than on preaching the Word. I just heard today of a church who spends 45 minutes of singing, dancing, waving of hands, jumping, clapping, etc. Accompanied by high volume of electric guitar, drums, cymbals, and other instruments, it’s difficult to distinguish whether they are in a disco club or just plainly partying. Their praise and worship is a form of worldly entertainment and I believe that no matter how much they say that they are doing it for the Lord, and that they feel good about it, their action is not acceptable in the eyes of the Lord not only on this age but on the age to come.
When Christ taught His disciples on how to pray, the first ten words of this important prayer provide the believer with a biblical foundation for beginning prayer with a season of praise. “Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.” ‘Hallowed’ is from the same root word as ‘holy’ and ‘sanctify’. It means to set apart for a purpose. So our prayer time should include in the first few moments some time to set apart God’s name as the object of our worship. During these moments our sole purpose should be to bring God glory with our words. Ps. 50:23a, “Whoso offereth praise glorifieth me…” So the first section on our ‘prayer clock’ should be praise.
I. What is Praise?
A. It is vocal adoration of God. To honour, to glorify, to bestow approval upon.
1. Adoration is the act of rendering divine honor, esteem, and love.
2. It is derived from the ancient expression that meant ‘to apply the hand to the mouth’ or ‘to kiss the hand’.
3. It certain countries the kiss of the hand is still a symbol of deep respect and submission.
4. The Hebrew word yadah means, “To stretch out the hands” and is translated “praise”. That is to hold out the hands in reverence, to open the hands and let go of everything, just stand and praise God openhandedly.
B. The act of vocal adoration is important because it implies that we acknowledge God as God.
1. Ps. 63:3, “Because thy lovingkind- ness is better than life, my lips shall praise thee.”
2. Only praise puts God in His rightful position at the very outset of our praying.
3. In praising Him we declare His sovereignty and recognize His nature and power.
C. Praise is important because it is unselfish.
1. The worship of God demands that our focus be shifted from ourselves to God.
2. Too often we go to prayer with only thoughts of what we want and what we need even when we are praying for others!
3. Praise shifts our thoughts from “God I want” to “God you are”.
D. Praise is important because it will bring us into the presence of God.
1. Note: 2Chron. 5:13-14
2. The context of these verses concern the dedication of Solomon’s temple.
3. When the temple was completed, Solomon brought in all of the various pieces of furniture, including the ark of the covenant, but something was still missing! The presence of God!
4. However, when they began to sing praises unto God the presence of the Lord filled the place!
5. Psalm 22:3, “But thou art holy, O thou that inhabitest the praises of Israel.”
II. How to Praise God in Prayer.
A. Praise Him for His name.
1. Ps. 115:1, “Not unto us, O Lord, not unto us, but unto thy name give glory, for thy mercy and for thy truth’s sake.”
2. Throughout the Old Testament we are given various names for God which point to some attribute or character.
3. In the New Testament we find that His name is the Lord Jesus Christ.
B. Praise God for His righteousness.
1. Psalm 35:28, “And my tongue shall speak of thy righteousness and of they praise all the day long.”
2. The word ‘righteous’ means meeting the standards of what is right and just.
3. God does more than meet certain standards…He is the standard!
C. Praise God for His infinite creation.
1. Psalm 150:2, “Praise Him for His mighty acts: praise Him according to His excellent greatness.”
2. That means there is no limit for our praise to Him.
3. Our praise can be something different every time we pray!
D. Praise God for His Word.
1. Ps. 56:10, “In God will I praise His word: in the Lord will I praise His word.”
2. An excellent outline for praising God for His word is found in Ps. 19:7-9
3. We glorify God and His Word when we use His word to praise Him!
E. Praise God for His greatness
1. Psalms 145:3 Great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised; and his greatness is unsearchable.
2. To be great is to have significance, value, or importance.
3. When we praise God, we tell Him, that He is the most important, significant, or the highest value in our life.
F. We praise God for His Wisdom
1. Daniel 2:20 Daniel answered and said, Blessed be the name of God for ever and ever: for wisdom and might are his:
2. God is the only source of wisdom and power.
3. He knows all things and can do all things.
G. We praise God because He has provided salvation to us.
1. Luke 1:68-69 Blessed be the Lord God of Israel; for he hath visited and redeemed his people, And hath raised up an horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant David;
2. Christ visited this sin sick world. He showed kindness to all of us sinners by coming down from heaven.
3. He died for our sins. He redeemed us, that is purchased us with His blood by His death on the cross.
4. Because of this Jesus Christ deserved all our praise.
I hope now you have understood how important it is and how serious it is to praise the Lord. We should praise Him in everything. In prosperity and in adversity, in sickness and in health, we should not stop praising Him.